IT Management

The first quarter of 2003 has been a relatively quiet time for announcements in the zSeries market.

However, inevitably, Web-to-host integration has been one of the liveliest areas, and has witnessed a couple of significant relationships. Jacada, one of the leading lights in this sector, has partnered with Computer Associates to provide enhanced Web-to-host integration to complement CA’s data integration and management tools, including Advantage EDBC, Advantage CA-IDMS and Advantage CA-Datacom. The partnership should also help sites using other CA tools that require mainframe application access, such as CleverPath Portal.

Meanwhile, change management specialist Serena has joined forces with legacy integration company Relativity to provide a solution that “streamlines the process for modernizing and maintaining legacy applications.” The new offering, which is based on Serena’s ChangeMan ZDD for z/OS and OS/390 and Relativity’s RescueWare, is designed to help customers pull down business information from mainframe systems onto the desktop, and update and maintain the information directly without the need for file transfer products.

Some of the programming tool vendors have also been busy recently. Dignus has announced performance enhancements for Systems/C and Systems/C++, described respectively as the world’s first z/OS 64-bit C and C++ compilers. IONA has been showing off Version 5.1 of its Orbix Mainframe integration tools, with improved support for COBOL and PL/I, and greater exposure of CICS and IMS transactions to Web applications. In addition, that bastion of mainframe development tools, MicroFocus, is rolling out a new version of its Server Express that supports the migration of COBOL applications to zSeries Linux.

More Linux Enthusiasm , Please

Talking of mainframe Linux, as many people do these days, let’s hope that 2003 will be the year when the Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) really come to grips with the Open Source software. The long-term credibility of the zSeries as a Linux consolidation engine will depend on the availability of the third-party tools that have made OS/390 and z/OS such superior platforms to date.

Having said that, there have been some notable announcements recently. Following BMC’s early moves in this area last year, Legato announced NetWorker for Linux on the Mainframe (“the first complete Linux backup and recovery solution for IBM eServer zSeries,” with server/storage node functionality) right at the end of 2002, and Candle joined the party in January with OMEGAMON XE (Extended Edition) for Linux, extending its traditional performance monitoring strengths to the new platform.

CA and BMC Battle Over DB2

“Look out, IBM and BMC, CA is driving technology and value with its latest release of Unicenter Database Management tools.”

Hey, that’s more like it: Not only is the dinosaur alive and well, it’s looking for its lunch! The quote comes from Computer Associates’ latest announcement of enhancements to its entire range of mainframe DB2 tools. Among the highlights are the new CA Value Pack (free if you license any of the other DB2 products), with tools to manage referential integrity, change ZPARMS, terminate threads and process scripts; and an expansion of Rapid Reorg to incorporate online functionality.

I’m not sure whether BMC is “looking out,” though. The company has been too busy living up to its recent statement of intent to support DB2 Universal Database V8 on zSeries — a great relief, no doubt, to customers who rely on the company’s DB2 management expertise. BMC says that UDB Version 8 is an integral part of Project Golden Gate, its blueprint for bridging the gap between mainframe and distributed environments through a single point of control.

By the way, it’s always good to see distributed vendors expanding their technology into the mainframe space. Database management company, Embarcadero, a specialist in Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server, recently announced Version 7.1 of DBArtisan and Rapid SQL, with enhanced support for DB2 Universal Database and new support for OS/390!

And, finally, some hardware for a change! EMC is re-establishing its position in the data center with its high-end Symmetrix z8000 storage systems, optimized for the mainframe platform. The two new models, fully compatible with the z/OS feature set, offer full support for IBM’s 1GB FICON channel connectivity as well as legacy ESCON connections.

Keep Me in the Loop

Rounding up major announcements from companies in the mainframe sector is a little like detective work these days, and it’s very easy to let one slip by. If you’re using, or marketing, a new or updated third-party product for the z/OS platform that deserves a mention here, please send me the details at Z